DIY in your Frobisher Place condo
Do it yourself projects are most often done to save money. However, if not done properly they can end up costing you time and money. Here are a few tips to help you avoid some common pitfalls.
Plan ahead by making a sketch of how you want it to look, take careful measurements of all dimensions (measure twice and cut once) and then take all this information with you when you go to the store to purchase the materials and fixtures. Most retailers, such as Home Depot or Home Hardware have experienced staff who can assist you in choosing the best materials and suggest special tools (or rentals) to make the job easier.
Once ready to do begin your project, it is best to set aside plenty of time to do the work and it is also best to try to complete the work within a few days. If you can only find time to do your project on weekends (except Sundays), try to schedule the work at the same time of day in the morning. For sure, two hours of continuous effort will provide better and faster results than doing the work in bits and pieces. And in that way, any noise disturbance for your neighbours will be predictable and hopefully more readily tolerated by them.
Our superintendents, Joe and Jose, are ready and willing to pass on suggestions to make your project easier and more successful. For example, they would suggest that once any bathroom tiles are removed, that a band sander type tool is best to bring the remaining mortar down smooth and flat before applying new tiles.
But for the sake of you and your neighbours, if the project is big or costly, please do a reality check and think twice before taking on something better left to the experts, i.e. a contractor.
Christopher Morris, Director CCC # 82 August 2015
Please see our Links page for updated Rules and the legislation that would replace the Condo Act.
For one hour before each Board meeting I will meet with any interested residents in the Perrier Room. I will update you on current developments and discuss your concerns. Other Directors may join us if they wish.
Next: Monday, September 21, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
– Doug Brandy, VP/ Secretary
Draft minutes of the June 15, 2015 minutes are available to Frobisher Place owners on request.
Your Board for 2015-16 (expiry of current term):
President: Heinrich Teworte (2016)
Vice-President/Secretary: Doug Brandy (2017)
Treasurer: Nicolas Mezher (2016)
Directors: Chris Bulman (2017), Jeremias Gramcko (2018), Christopher Morris (2017), Dominic Roszak (2018)
June 8, 2015 Board meeting, highlights
We agreed to expand the Building Committee to include interested owners willing to share their time and energy on important projects. A priority for the BC is the fire alarm system. The BC will also be looking at renovation and improvements to the exercise and other recreation rooms.
Annual General Meeting
Monday, June 15, 2015: see above for our new Board and minutes.
Via Rail maintenance
Via Rail will be carrying out maintenance along sections of its track near our building. Details here. Please note this is in addition to the Hospital Link work noted below.
Alta Vista Hospital Link – what to expect
The City of Ottawa is starting construction work on the Alta Vista Hospital Link that will provide a link between Riverside Drive and the Transitway to the Hospital Ring Road. This link is needed to improve transit service and support ongoing hospital and local development.
On Tuesday, June 2 Christopher Morris and I met with Bruce Kenny, Project Manager. We discussed, in particular, the Via Rail rerouting that will occur near Frobisher Place.
Anticipated start date: Construction during normal working hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. will begin very soon. Bruce will send me 30 days notice of nighttime work and its expected duration.
Measures taken to minimize airborne dust and dirt: Airborne particles can’t be entirely eliminated but the contractor will use water spraying to minimize the resulting disturbance.
Could our property or trees be damaged? Most of the rail detour work will occur on the far side of the current Via line, away from our building but some ditching may be needed as the rail line is regraded. Little or no impact on our trees is expected.
What plans are in place for environmental recovery? Bruce is committed to ensuring the construction site looks better after the work than it did before.
If Frobisher Place residents have concerns or experience problems they should contact me. I will be in touch with Bruce as necessary.
Smoke detectors: who is responsible?
A fire occurred in a high-rise condominium unit. On investigation, it was found that there was no smoke alarm anywhere in the unit, contrary to the requirements of the Fire Code. The Fire Marshall charged both the unit owner and the condominium corporation with failing to provide a smoke alarm. Read more
Who is responsible for confirming that the condo owners have smoke detectors and that they are in proper working order? I have concerns because my neighbour told me he removed the battery out of his detector after it went off too many times. Read more
Frobisher Place Town Hall Sunday, March 22, 2015, highlights
Please be sure you have your own homeowners insurance. In the event of a loss your policy may need to cover damage where you have made changes to the “standard unit”. You may also be responsible for up to $5000 of the condo corporation’s deductible.
Swimming pool concerns
We encourage residents who have health concerns to contact Ottawa Public Health directly. There is also a handout that was recently mailed to owners. If you did not get a copy you may request one from me.
Air conditioners – prep for winter
Wall mounted air conditioners must be properly insulated to prevent cold air entry in winter. Please see our “how to“.
Energy Star appliances include fridges, freezers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, TVs and much more. Replacing older appliances with new higher efficiency Energy Star models contributes to a green planet.
If you’re considering replacing an older appliance with a new Energy Star model please contact me before you make a purchase. Frobisher Place may be eligible to receive an incentive grant.
All units have fans installed in their bathroom ceilings. The fans vent air to the outdoor balcony. A properly working exhaust fan supports heat savings in winter as windows can remain closed. Such a fan also supports a reduction of in-unit relative humidity and condensation on windows. You should run your fan each time you have a shower.
As they age, many of these fans become quite loud as they wear and some eventually stop working altogether. Typically the electric motor wears out and fails so replacements are required.
Most stores sell only complete bathroom fans, i.e. the covering grille, the internals and the external housing.
While it is possible to replace the complete outer housing, all internals and the cover grill, this is a complex job. The original bathroom fans in our building were installed such that their metal outer housing is literally cast in concrete. Removal is quite difficult and often requires subsequent repairs to the surrounding ceiling.
Most economical and simple is to limit replacement to the fan motor and the fan blade. All other parts are cleaned and stay in place.
While many suppliers cannot find a suitable cross-reference to modern fans, our Superintendents have sourced a complete off-the-shelf fan assembly that can be purchased in many stores. The motor and fan blade of this assembly can quite easily be installed mechanically in the original fan box in the ceiling. The electrical connection is by means of a plug within the fan box. No electrician is required.
The NuTone basic fan, model 696NC, is currently available and has the fitting internals. It is fairly straightforward to remove the motor and fan blade from the new 696NC unit and install them in the existing, original bathroom fan housing as replacements. The rest of the 696NC unit would be scrap. The complete material cost is about $27.00 + tax.
Bathroom fan maintenance or replacement are the responsibility of the unit owner. The Superintendents can be contacted to assess if the 696NC motor and fan blade will fit the fan installed in your unit.
If you need a contractor to help you please contact me.
All owners and residents, please note.
As of September 1, 2014 we began deactivating all FOBs that have not been used for 6 months. If you need a new fob or reprogramming of your current FOB please see Cheryl in the office.
We have mailed out revisions to our Rules. Various parts of this site’s Handbook display some of the Rules in effect in April, 2014.
The info has been moved here.
Doug Brandy, Chair Communication Committee